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SGV Tax Partner Atty. Auresana “Rhena” B. Ines conducted a tax webinar for the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Southern Metro Manila Chapter (SMMC) on “How to Effectively Handle a BIR Tax Audit” held via Zoom on 25 August 2023. Event poster Atty. Rhena (lower right) with the SGV Tax Team Atty. Rhena discussed the BIR tax audit procedure and provided tips and leading practices in handling BIR tax audits. She highlighted the importance of understanding the BIR tax audit procedure to ensure compliance with tax regulations. She also emphasized the need for businesses to be well-prepared and knowledgeable about the process to effectively address any potential issues that may arise. Atty. Rhena also talked about the significance of maintaining accurate and organized financial records, as this plays a crucial role in successfully navigating BIR tax audits. 
Members of the SGV Clark team paid a courtesy call on newly appointed Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Jonathan D. Tan on 30 August 2023 at the SBMA office.  (From left to right) Senior Director Niño Canlas, Associate Director Elgina Rito, Tax Partner Hentje Leo L. Leaño, SBMA Chair and Administrator Jonathan Tan, SGV Clark Partner In-Charge and Head Atty. Margaux A. Advincula, Senior Associate Atty. Fatima Garo, and SBMA Chief of Staff Martin Roman at the SBMA office SGV Clark Partner In-Charge and Head Atty. Margaux A. Advincula, Tax Partner Hentje Leo L. Leaño, Assurance Senior Director Leo Niño Canlas, Global Tax Compliance Associate Director Elgina Rito, and Tax Senior Associate Atty. Fatima Kate Garo congratulated Mr. Tan on his appointment as the new SBMA Chairman and Administrator. They also discussed new collaboration on several tax and investment initiatives to promote the ease of doing business for SBMA locators, including updates on the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act. They were accompanied by SBMA Chief of Staff and Deputy Administrator for Port Operations Atty. Martin Kristoffer F. Roman.
SGV Consulting Partner Christian G. Lauron joined the two-day 2023 Institute of International Finance (IIF) Sustainable Finance Summit held in Tokyo, Japan. The summit was supported by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (JFSA) and leading financial institutions in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. Christian (center) at the 2023 IIF Sustainable Finance Summit The panelists and moderators for the various discussions during the summit were Japan government officials and different bank and industry leaders. Global and regional banks, policy makers and regulators, insurers, and other financial institutions also participated in the summit. Among the topics in the summit were strategic planning for the net-zero transition, ensuring credibility in transition finance and investment, the changing regulatory and policy landscape for sustainable finance, insurance and the net-zero transition, the future of global carbon markets, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data and metrics, enabling transition finance, building transition finance markets in Asia, financing clean technology and natural capital, and the vital role of blended finance. Conversation with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike (right) The panelists also talked about how the private sector plays a crucial role in supporting the Net Zero transition by focusing on transition finance and investment. They emphasized that financial firms are evaluating planning, assessing portfolio alignment, and addressing greenwashing risks. They also noted how the insurance sector aids companies in reducing and preparing for the effects of climate change.  Additionally, they pointed out that international carbon markets are expanding, and standards and benchmarks are being developed to support global decarbonization. They also noted that as voluntary frameworks and regulatory communities address concerns about greenwashing and transition-washing, there is a growing demand for ESG disclosure. Then Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda delivers his keynote speech The panelists also talked about how C-suite executives are rethinking traditional financial intermediation parameters to fund the energy transition and meet global climate change adaptation and mitigation goals. They highlighted that as Asia's governments and companies plan long-term growth strategies, sustainable financial markets are a key priority. 
SGV Financial Services Organization (FSO) Senior Manager Dominique Raissa Torralba and International Tax and Transactions Services (ITTS) Manager James Edward Agbayani were resource speakers in the 2023 JP Morgan Payments Forum held at the Grand Hyatt Manila. Participants from different business organizations attended the event. (From left to right) James, JP Morgan Philippines Executive Director and Payments Head Sari Mortel, Dominique, and JP Morgan Philippines Vice President and Philippines Client Service and Implementation Head Reginald Cruz Dominique and James discussed payments and e-invoicing, including insights on the latest trends and developments in the payments industry, and how the reliable and secure implementation of e-invoicing would spur greater digital payments adoption, and vice versa. FSO Senior Manager Dominique at the JP Morgan Payments Forum FSO Manager James during his presentation Dominique shared insights on the country’s attainment of the targets set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, based on the digital payment adoption trend of different segments of users. Dominique also discussed the state of digital payments adoption in other jurisdictions, and how policies and processes put in place led to gains in the payments industry and were mutually beneficial for e-invoicing and taxation initiatives.  James, on the other hand, shared updates regarding the government’s goal towards digitalization through the implementation of the e-Invoicing system (EIS). He discussed the timeline of EIS implementation, as well as the aspects which companies need to adhere to and prepare for.  James and Dominique closed the discussion with an overview of what companies could expect in terms of the flow of their billing and payment processes considering the linkage of digital payments and e-invoicing. Other speakers were JP Morgan Philippines Equities Research Head Jeanette Yutan and JP Morgan Cybersecurity Operations Lead and Cybersecurity & Technology Controls, Asia Pacific Intelligence Group Head Adonis Polychronopoulos. The speakers provided valuable insights on several topics, such as the “Philippines Macroeconomic Outlook and Cybersecurity Essentials: Staying Ahead.” An open forum was also conducted after each speaker’s presentation. Dominique and James during the Q&A session EXL Health and Philippines Business Finance and Pricing Head Dipto Sen and JP Morgan Asia Pacific Digital Channel Product Solution Sales Lead Steffanus Widjaja also participated as panelists during the panel discussion on “Leveraging Technology for The Future of Treasury and Payments,” which was moderated by JP Morgan Singapore and ASEAN Treasury Services Product Head Gundeep Singh. JP Morgan Payments Forum participants JP Morgan Philippines Senior Country Officer and Banking Head Carlos Mendoza gave the welcome remarks, while JP Morgan Philippines Global Corporate Bank Head Richard Lee concluded the session by delivering the closing remarks and thanking the participants.
SGV Tax Principal Atty. Alden C. Labaguis, together with Indirect Tax (IDT) Associate Directors Attys. Lauren Antonette M. Mendoza and Kierk Robin M. Ret, and IDT Senior Associates Attys. Andrea Nicole C. Loreno and Natividad G. Busa, were speakers in the 2023 SGV Nurturing Leadership Internship Program (NLIP) Leadership Talk session for students accepted for internship at SGV. Atty. Alden and his team shared their stories as well as their personal takes on what “Stewardship, Grit, and Vibrance” mean to them with the 2023 batch of interns. Atty. Alden and team with the 2023 SGV NLIP interns Atty. Alden opened the Leadership Talk by sharing his personal and professional stories, describing how he started in SGV leading up to his designation as Principal in 2023. Atty. Alden related and highlighted events to show how he believes he was living the principles of Stewardship, Grit, and Vibrance, hoping to inspire and embolden the interns to reach for their dreams and life goals.  Attys. Laurs, Kierk, Nicole, and Naty also recounted their respective CPA-Lawyer journeys and their stories exemplifying Stewardship, Grit, and Vibrance. Each sharing concluded with a narrative of professional experiences of working in SGV and learnings from Atty. Alden as a leader. The team thanked Atty. Alden for being their inspiration to strive and achieve their goals.  In closing, Atty. Alden quoted a story from Steve Jobs’s 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech saying, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards.” Atty. Alden also encouraged the interns to seize opportunities during their internship in SGV and challenged them to “follow the dots” and create their own inspiring SGV stories to answer the question: “What’s your SGV story?”  The NLIP program was organized by the SGV Internship team composed of Mariane Kristine M. Riano, Angelou Ma. D. Remo, Kayla Anne Resente, and Nicola Francesca A. Fajardo.
In line with SGV’s Sustainable Actions for Value-Creation and Enablement (SAVE) Council’s sustainability initiatives and as part of the observance of Earth Week, SGV donated 465.13 kg of preloved clothes to Wear Forward, a local circular-fashion startup. SGVeans from around the country participated in the SAVE Council’s used clothing collection drive, where all nine SGV offices were used as donation sites for preloved items of clothing. Some of the pre-loved clothing donations in SGV offices across the country The SGV SAVE Council expressed its appreciation to everyone who participated in the used clothing collection drive. The Council plans to hold more clothing collection efforts and other opportunities to practice sustainability. Preloved clothing donations packed for shipment to Wear Forward’s warehouse The preloved clothes were sent to Wear Forward’s facility in Bulacan for proper sorting and processing. Wear Forward seeks innovative solutions to the textile waste problem, including clothing recycling and reuse. These initiatives prevent usable clothing from ending up in landfills and further contributing to environmental degradation.
SGV Davao Partner-in-Charge Jose Raoul Balisalisa was the guest speaker at Ateneo de Davao University’s Pinning Ceremony for 4th Year BS Accountancy students on 19 August 2023. The ceremony signaled the start of the students’ internship period with different companies, including SGV & Co. About 300 people, including the parents and guests of the students, were present. Raoul during his pinning ceremony speech Raoul’s message was centered on the theme “BUKANG-LIWAYWAY: Transforming Future Accountants, through Challenges and Opportunities.” Apart from sharing his personal experiences as an alumnus of the university and as an accountant, Raoul spoke briefly about SGV, its values, service lines and Nurturing Leaders Internship Program. He shared examples of realities in the workforce as well.  Raoul receives plaque of appreciation Raoul (center) with ADDU faculty and students during the group picture-taking  He concluded his speech by advising the students to not only build a career for themselves, but to also build character. He said that this would help them become more resilient and adaptive to change while overcoming challenges in the business world.
SGV signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Surigao Del Norte Provincial Government to produce the Doing Business in Surigao del Norte publication. The MOA was signed on 8 August 2023 by SGV Country Managing Partner Wilson P. Tan and Provincial Governor Robert Lyndon S. Barbers. SGV and Surigao Del Norte MOA signing  District II Congressman Robert Ace S. Barbers, Surigao City Mayor Pablo Yves L. Dumlao II, and SGV Strategy and Transactions Partner and Government and Public Sector Leader Marie Stephanie Tan-Hamed signed the MOA as witnesses.  SGV Partners and Surigao Del Norte public officials during the MOA signing Wilson delivered the welcome remarks, while Governor Robert, Mayor Pablo and District II Congressman Robert gave short messages. Vice Chair and Deputy Managing Partner Maria Vivian C. Ruiz, EY Asean Consulting Quality Leader Joseph Ian M. Canlas, Financial Services Organization (FSO) Leader Christian G. Lauron, and Global Compliance & Reporting (GCR) Partner Saha A. Bulagsak were also present during the MOA signing. The Doing Business in Surigao Del Norte publication is part of SGV’s Doing Business in the Philippines series. The publication aims to provide comprehensive information about the business climate, investment opportunities, and regulatory framework in Surigao Del Norte. It will serve as a valuable resource for local and foreign investors looking to explore the province's potential for economic growth. 
The SGV 1 and SGV 2 buildings were recognized by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) as the first Total Resource Use and Efficiency (TRUE) Precertified facilities in the Philippines. This recognition highlights SGV's commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship and marks the beginning of its path to full TRUE Certification for Zero Waste.  SGV 1 and 2 buildings This initiative is part of the environmental efforts of the SGV Sustainable Actions for Value-Creation and Enablement (SAVE) Council as the Firm adopts and redefines better ways of doing business, particularly in pursuing and achieving its zero-waste goals while becoming a more resource-efficient organization. GBCI is the world’s leading sustainability and health certification and credentialing body. Its TRUE Certification for Zero Waste program strives to change the way materials flow through society while ensuring that all products are eventually reused and diverted from landfill, incineration (waste-to-energy), and the environment. 
SGV, represented by Chairman and Country Managing Partner Wilson P. Tan and Consulting Partner and iTeach Program Director Allan W. Ocho, and PHINMA Education Holdings, Inc., represented by Country Head Christopher Tan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 8 August 2023 for PHINMA schools to participate in the SGV iTeach Program. Signing the MOU are (from left to right) SGV Vice Chair and Deputy Managing Partner Vivian C. Ruiz, Consulting Partner and iTeach Program Director Allan W. Ocho, SGV Chairman and Country Managing Partner Wilson P. Tan, PHINMA Education Country Head Christopher Tan, and PHINMA Araullo University College of Management and Accountancy Dean Emerita Modesto. The SGV iTeach Program aligns with the Firm's commitment to continue its late founder Mr. Washington SyCip's advocacy for lifelong learning. The advocacy program aims to enable educators by updating them on the latest accountancy and technology trends and helping them bridge the gap between theoretical principles and actual practice. This includes collaborations with schools and professional organizations to facilitate training and workshops, provide inputs to the schools' programs, curricula and syllabi, develop case studies, and provide guest lecturers. Present in the photo are (from left to right) SGV Senior Director Elvin Mercader, SGV Assurance Leader Martin C. Guantes, Consulting Partner and iTeach Program Director Allan W. Ocho, SGV Vice Chair and Deputy Managing Partner Vivian C. Ruiz, SGV Chairman and Country Managing Partner Wilson P. Tan (WPT), PHINMA Education Country Head Christopher Tan, PHINMA Araullo University College of Management and Accountancy Dean Emerita Modesto, PHINMA Education Country Chief Learning Officer Glenn Laigo, PHINMA Araullo University Dean Marvin Salviejo, SGV Assurance Partner Belinda T. Beng Hui, and SGV Business Consulting Senior Jervie Sta. Ana. In addition to providing training and workshops, SGV also explores the possibility of an online community where educators can come together to share best practices. To date, the SGV iTeach Program has been able to reach out to and build awareness with around 7,000 teachers, students, and other professionals across the country.  The MOU signing took place at the SGV Museum at Shang Grand Tower, Makati City. Dean Emerita Modesto of the College of Management and Accountancy of PHINMA Araullo University and SGV Vice Chair and Deputy Managing Partner Vivian Ruiz acted as witnesses. Also in attendance were SGV Assurance Leader Martin Guantes, SGV Assurance Partner Belinda T. Beng Hui, SGV Senior Director Elvin Mercader, SGV Business Consulting Senior Jervie Sta. Ana, PHINMA Education Country Chief Learning Officer Glenn Laigo, and Dean Marvin Salviejo of PHINMA Araullo University.